A Beginner Vegetarian Diet Plan
So, you have started on your journey towards vegetarianism. As most practicing vegetarians would tell you, the early phase is the hardest as you barely have an idea of what you need to do. Similar to any other major changes in one’s lifestyle, the shift towards vegetarianism takes some getting used to. That is why it is vital that you take it easy on yourself by giving yourself ample time to adjust to your new diet.
This article presents readers with a couple of reminders and tips for your vegetarian diet plan. Presented below are just some of the things you need to keep in mind as you start planning your meals in the future.
Understanding the Different Types of Vegetarians
Before anything else, you need to understand that the term vegetarian refers to a broad range of people. As you embark on your journey towards a healthier life, you will need to decide for yourself which strand of vegetarianism you want to follow. Having full knowledge of these strands will help you better craft a meal plan that is appropriate for you.
For instance, ovo-lacto vegetarians are free to consume eggs as a protein source. On the other hand, lacto-vegetarians can’t so they often make use of alternative protein sources for their diet. Of course, we would be remiss if we did not mention the Vegans who do not consume any products derived from animals including milk, eggs, and honey.
Start with Substitutions
Now, you may be tempted to go cold turkey and just swear off all kinds of meat in one fell swoop. While you are free to do that, it is also worth noting that this can prove quite challenging for most people. That is why we recommend that you take it slow and give your body (and your appetite) some time to adjust. After all, a major change in one’s diet can take some getting used to.
The best way to do this is by sticking with tried-and-true recipes and gradually substituting the ingredients with vegetarian-friendly components. For instance, if you love chili then you can start by reducing the ground meat and increasing the amount of beans in your recipe. You can also start making lasagna by substituting the sausages with roasted vegetables. It really is up to you to see how creative you can get with it.
Nutrition is Paramount
It should go without saying that vegetarians have the same nutritional needs as omnivores. We need to consume 5.5 ounces of it per day. However, the difference is that vegetarians have to find alternative protein sources due to the fact that we have eliminated the presence of animal meat in our diet.
Luckily, there is no shortage of plant-based sources of protein. For instance, there is the incredibly versatile soy, which also serves as the key ingredient for many of the meat substitutes found in the market today. You can also increase your intake of seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Just make sure that you consume different sources of protein to ensure that you are getting the right level of amino acids in your system.
These are just some of the basic rules beginner vegetarians need to keep in mind when making their own meal plans.